Ok, hear me out.
Nobody (nobody sane) looks at Trump, or Theresa May, or even Justin Trudeau (delicious though he may be) and thinks, ‘Now there’s someone I can look up to!’ Maybe ‘I wish my girlfriend looked more like Stormy Daniels’, or ‘What a guy – I wish I could rock a yellow toupee like he does!’ but not ‘There goes a hero of our times’.
That’s no criticism of our pollies (as we Australians call politicians). Being a good person is far from an essential qualification for high public office. To snaffle a place at the top in a democracy, you need charm, ruthlessness and low cunning. Politicians are not the same as the people they represent: if anything, they’re worse.
But for royalty, it’s different.
A modern Royal is basically a random person who, through no fault of their own, was born to lots of money and a position which though practically powerless, sits at the very top of the political structure. This person doesn’t have to claw his or her way to the top – he’s there. And he’s trained – boy is he trained – from infancy to understand that his only role in life is to be someone people can look up to. A hero.
That’s a hard life. You can’t do any of the normal stuff people get up to – suck toes, put your hand up chambermaid’s skirts, wear Nazi fancy dress at parties – without the tabloids reminding you what you’re there for. You’re a Role Model, they scream – you’re supposed to be better than us!
And if you want to keep on getting paid to cut ribbons, you make bloody sure you ARE better than us. Who, watching Harry and Meghan tie the knot, didn’t think something like, ‘What a lovely couple! What a great guy!’ There’s the pollies organising Brexit and slagging off each other and cutting welfare and raking in profits from the weapons dealers – and there’s Harry. He’s not doing any of that. He’s sponsoring the Invictus Games, and helping African AIDS orphans, and getting down with the ordinary squaddies in Afghanistan.
Finally, we have someone we can look up to. Sure, he’s a tad expensive, but in the long run, maybe it’s worth it. Because as long as we can see one nice guy on the hill (or in the palace trying to do some genuine good in the world, it’s not all shit, and that’s important.
So here’s to our hero, long may he reign. By the way, does anybody else think Prince Harry looks like a young Henry VIII? I think the resemblance is spooky.
And before you say, wait a minute, wasn’t Henry VIII a homicidal maniac who went through wives like cheap underpants – actually, no. When he was young, he was handsome, charming, athletic and the hope of a nation. The crucial difference? HE had absolute power.
If I had absolute power, I reckon I’d probably chop a few people’s heads off too, wouldn’t you? Ok, be honest now – who would YOU send to the block?